Belfast Telegraph

Can you give them a new home? Rescued pets seek a new leash of life

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

WANTED: A new home.

These lost, stray and unwanted pooches are looking for a loving new owner as they each face an uncertain future.

The abandoned dogs are among 45 residents at the Carrickfergus Borough Council dog pound which, after 17 years of providing a much-needed shelter for desperate animals, is potentially facing closure.

A spokeswoman for the pound told the Belfast Telegraph the council is considering renting out the facility, at Sullabtober Row off the Marshallstown Road, for use as a pound – or to change its use entirely.

At the moment, two full-time staff and six agency workers look after around 100 dogs which come in from the Belfast and Carrickfergus area each month.

But following a recent tendering process Belfast City Council, from next week, will send its stray dogs to a facility in Crumlin.

So, with a drop-off in the number of dogs being sent in to its care, the future is unclear for staff and their furry friends.

Regardless of what happens to the centre, these dogs are in need of a good home and a loving family.

The uncertainty hanging over its future highlights the issue of stray dogs in Northern Ireland, and how many are badly in need of a home.

Elaine Clarke has been the supervisor at the Carrickfergus dog pound for the last 10 years.

"Of the 100 dogs that come through the pound each month around 25-35% will be reclaimed and then we are left with the rest to rehome or send to a sanctuary," Elaine said.

"With stray dogs we can't guarantee temperament and they could have underlying illnesses, but most of the time people say they are the best wee dogs.

"We make sure we match the right people with the right dog, based on how many hours they will be around, how much exercise they can give the dog and that sort of thing.

"We do occasionally have to put a small amount of dogs down, but we can usually find a rescue home."

Regarding the changes to how the centre operates, Elaine said: "The pound will carry on for the foreseeable future.

"We will keep all the Belfast dogs currently with us and the ones brought to us up to August 31."

Rosemary Craig was at the dog pound yesterday picking up her new pet, a five-year-old German shepherd called Atos.

"I've had German shepherds all my life, I've always rescued dogs," Rosemary said. It's very important for people to rescue dogs. People go out and get puppies and when they grow up they throw them out. That's the reason why they are in here in the first place."

 

Can you give these rescued pets a home?

 

Isobel (3)

* The stray collie cross has been at the pound since July 29. She is intelligent and would make a good family dog. She has lots of energy

Max (2)

* The Siberian husky has been at the pound since July 29. He's house-trained and good with children. Of course, huskies can be stubborn and headstrong.

Bob (6)

* The stray lurcher has been at the pound since July 22 and would make a great family pet. He is quite a lazy dog as he likes to gallop around for five minutes and then lie around.

Beth (5)

* The stray German shepherd cross has been at the pound since July 16. This guard breed will bark to alert if anyone is about. They are very loyal and a good family dog.

Princess (2)

* This stray akita has been at the pound since August 5. Akitas are a very dominant breed and very loyal in a family unit. Princess would be ideal for an experienced dog owner.

Gerry (4)

* The stray Jack Russell has been at the pound since July 18. He is a high-spirited wee dog and would make a great family pet.

Mario (2)

* A Staffordshire bull terrier, he has been at the pound since August 6. He is house-trained and is good with children.

Stanley (1)

* A stray terrier cross who has been at the pound since June 27. When he first arrived at the pound he was very frightened and nervous. He's timid, reasonably active and enjoys exercise.

Call 028 9335 1639 or email dogpound@carrickfergus.org

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